I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute - where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be a Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote - where no church or school is granted public funds or political preference - and where no man is denied public officer merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.And the following words seem particularly relevant to today.
I believe in an America that is neither officially Catholic, Protestant, nor Jewish - where no public official either requests or accepts instruction on policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches, or any other ecclesiastical source - where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials - and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church as treated as an act against all.
Whatever issue may come before me as President--on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject--I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.
But if the time should ever come--and I do not concede any conflict to be even remotely possible--when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do the same.